Penny Palabras #1 (Amazon/Kindle)


Rating: 3.5/5 – Ghosts can’t hurt you…or can they?

Penny Palabras is a new digital series starring 17-year-old Penny who can see ghosts, but sometimes does not let on that she can see them so they’ll just leave her alone.  As if the regular ghosts are not bad enough, there’s a small matter of The Straw Man, a malevolent entity who visits when she is trying to sleep, among other times.  She’s got to get rid of him so she can get a decent night’s sleep.

This 1st issue introduces Penny, the world she lives in and the troubles she’s facing.   We follow her as she comes up with a possible solution to the problem of The Straw Man, but the guy she visits seems kind of sketchy.  It’s not going to be that easy to get rid of the “big bad”, this is only the 1st issue of a 6 issue arc, so I’m expecting some twists and turns in the plot before we get to an ultimate resolution of the story that is set up here.

James Willard has crafted a story with some cool twists on the “I see dead people” motif that we’ve all seen many times before. Patrick Beavers black and white art is well-suited to the story, his “skull face on the moon” sequence had me Googling NASA pictures of the moon.  Beavers does a really nice job on body language (particularly Penny) but could improve on faces (particularly the “shady guy”).  I have no doubt that this will improve over time.

If you’re a fan of dark fantasy like Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book or Coraline, Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin, or Serena Valentino’s Gloom Cookie, this is definitely worth a try.   Visit Amazon and check out Episode #1.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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